Announcing DWG file support for Autodesk® BIM Collaborate and BIM Collaborate Pro

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By Annie Phan

Delivering a connected design ecosystem to AEC 

At the beginning of February, Autodesk announced three new cloud collaboration solutions – Autodesk® BIM Collaborate, Autodesk® BIM Collaborate Pro, and Autodesk® Docs – to help customers fundamentally improve their business outcomes and resiliency.  

BIM Collaborate Pro is a rebranding and upgrading of our widely popular BIM 360 Design and includes access to unified products in the Autodesk Construction Cloud. BIM Collaborate Pro helps design and construction teams to co-author Revit, Civil 3D, and Plant 3D data anytime, anywhere. 

BIM Collaborate, a new offering, helps project reviewers to follow along with design updates and annotate design clashes without the need to access design authoring software such as Revit or Civil 3D. 

Autodesk® Docs, only in the AEC Collection, makes it easier for collection subscribers to store unlimited data and manage projects centrally in a cloud-based common data environment.  This update makes it simpler for teams to work from a single repository from the start of a project through to construction, resulting in more integrated workflows and connected data across teams, disciplines, and deliverables. 

Learn what these new offerings mean for you. 

Big news for civil engineering and multi-discipline teams 

Collaborating with multiple teams on a project brings many challenges where files are shared using various methods, such as through FTP sites, resulting in issues around version control, broken references, file acceptance and general confusion.  

The solution is BIM Collaborate and BIM Collaborate Pro’s Design Collaboration, organizing cross-industry teams onto one platform with access control, versioning , and issue management built-in where data exchange protocols can be established and collaboration easily visualized.  

DWG is an AutoCAD file format that’s used extensively in the industry. We know that the DWG file type is essential to our customer’s workflows and is used especially by civil design teams who rely on it for everyday work. ​  

Today, we are excited to announce DWG file support, a much-awaited release for our BIM Collaborate and BIM Collaborate Pro users. 

With this update, civil engineering and multi-discipline teams can now be included in holistic project-based collaboration workflows, aligning and executing on design intent in a rich visual environment: Design Collaboration.

“Support for drawing files in Design Collaboration expands the benefits beyond the production Civil 3D team. Now the broader team including all stakeholders and contributors have a way to interact with the project throughout its lifecycle”. —David Simeone, Sr. Product Manager, Civil Products, Autodesk

The value of DWG file support 

DWG files can now be viewed and managed in Design Collaboration with BIM Collaborate and BIM Collaborate Pro. ​ 

So, the DWG is now a primary file format for Design Collaboration – which means it’s supported in the same way that Revit and IFC files are supported, on a connected design project ecosystem. Project leads can create, explore, and consume packages containing DWGs and see them in context along with these file types and preview the DWG model with 2D Views/Layouts and 3D views​.  The benefits include: 

  • Better cross-industry design collaboration supporting Civil 3D, AutoCAD, Revit, and IFC users.​ See DWGs in context of all project model data with all disciplines.​ 
  • Project-wide visibility on the “project timeline” helps you make sure your shared data is consumed by other teams.​ 
  • Lightweight design review for managers and executives to track project updates  
  • Better control of design collaboration in the cloud for Civil 3D and DWG users, reducing risk and rework. 
  • Designers work off the right version, package, and document. 
  • Manage DWGs and XREFs in consistent process along with RVT, IFC files and more​ 
  • Ability to view and manage a combination of models, 3D views, & sheets in your browser, whether DWG, RVT, or IFC.​ 
  • Connected desktop and cloud experience makes the team’s work easier. Plus, it’s easy to upgrade from BIM 360 Docs or Autodesk Docs to BIM Collaborate and BIM Collaborate Pro. 

BIM Collaborate and BIM Collaborate Pro’s design collaboration vastly improves project-wide collaboration providing for efficient, controlled data sharing and model aggregation within a rich visual environment. Watch this video below to get an understanding of how DWG file support improves cross-industry data exchange in a connected project ecosystem. 

Let’s take a look into how this update streamlines data exchange for civil engineering projects where surveyors, rail, and drainage teams need to package, share, and consume design data: 

Learn more about DWG file support in BIM Collaborate and BIM Collaborate Pro. 

Desktop Connector Support for Xref Files 

On a brief and final note, we continue to make ongoing enhancements to Desktop Connector, facilitating how you manage your project files working with BIM 360. Among the many recent updates to Desktop Connector includes support for files that contain circular references – eliminating disruptions that previously would occur when saving DWG files to BIM 360. 

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